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The Catholic Church's Secret Gay Cabal

John C. Favalora is a sallow old man who looks like the corpse of Dom DeLuise. He likes attractive young men to sit on his lap and allegedly treats them to trips in the Florida Keys. He was, until recently, part owner of a company that makes "all natural" boner-inducing beverages. He's also the Archbishop Emeritus of Miami. Favalora, who was the most powerf ul Catholic of f icial in Southern Florida f rom 1994 until last year, stands accused of cultivating what one group of pissed-of f Catholics describes as a corrupt "homosexual superculture" in the 195 churches, schools, missions, seminaries, and universities that constitute the Miami Archdiocese. If their allegations are to be believed, f or sixteen years Favalora ran his organization like the don of a lavender mob, rewarding his f avorite homosexual sons and f orgiving their many indiscretions—rampant sex, hedonism, embezzlement, alcoholism, and the railroading of chaste priests among them—while punishing those with the temerity to complain. Wanton hedonistic gay sex is of course unobjectionable—even encouraged!—among those not in thrall to the idea that God hates your penis. But f or the 500-or-so priests and deacons charged by T he Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI with ensuring the spiritual integrity of 1.3 million of God's children in Southern Florida, it's…unorthodox. SExpand

John Favalora, the Archbishop Emeritus of Miami. ( Photo via AP ) Favalora's accusers are loosely organized under the name "Christif idelis," and in 2005 they undertook an extensive investigation of priestly misbehavior in the Archdiocese. T hey now believe their f indings resulted in Archbishop Favalora's sacking last year, and his replacement by a manly, conservative workaholic named T homas Wenski. T he leader of Christif idelis, an attorney named Sharon Bourassa, declined to comment f or this story. But it hardly matters. Christif idelis's exertions on behalf of Mother Church are recorded in an enormous, binder-bound document entitled "Miami Vice: A Preliminary Report on the Financial, Spiritual, and Sexual Improprieties of the Clergy of the Miami Archdiocese." Today, f or the f irst time, Gawker is releasing portions of it to the public.

A Kind of Gay Hogwart s Wit h Palm Trees
Here are just some of the un-Catholic behaviors that "Miami Vice" accuses Favalora of engaging in: He partially owned a company that manuf actured Yohimbe, an aphrodisiac beverage marketed to horny club-kids with the promise of "the hands-down best sex of your lif e." He allegedly took f requent trips to f abulous Key West with his gay associates. He was over-f amiliar toward his seminarians. (One exemployee of the diocese recalls him telling a young seminarian at a gathering to "Come to papa and sit on my lap.") Favalora's second- and third-in-command, Monsignor William Hennessey and Monsignor Michael Souckar, are both accused by Christef idelis of being active homosexuals—and if they are, that counts among the least of their dif f iculties with Catholic orthodoxy. In f act, the Archdiocese was a hotbed of sodomy long bef ore Favalora set f oot in Florida. Two unrelated sources, both priests, speak of a f lamboyantly gay bishop in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, named Miguel Rodriguez Rodriguez, who was known to his pupils as "Lili." T hese sources claim that during the 1970s and 80's, Lili treated Arecibo like his own personal harem, urging cute young men into the priesthood and plying them with gif ts and money in exchange f or sexual f avors. Rome allegedly interceded in 1990 and banished Lili to a secluded monastery, where he remained until his death 20 years later. Several of Lili's erstwhile pupils landed in Miami in the 80's and 90's. Naturally, they were disinclined to take their celibacy oaths too seriously. Priests speak, too, about the culture of "sex-driven f avoritism" at St. John Vianney College Seminary—a kind of gay Hogwarts with palm trees, located out in the f lat suburban wastes of southwest Dade County. Seminaries are traditionally gay places—Papist wits ref er to Notre Dame seminary as "Notre Flame," T heological College as "T heological Closet," Mundelein as "Pink Palace," and so on. But St. John Vianney was special. One seminarian who dropped out in disgust in the 1980s recalls a miserable year being bullied by gay f aculty, and the rector, Robert Lynch, f awning over his f avorite seminarian: an attractive upper-classman named Steven O'Hala. T he dropout also recalls Lynch installing a camera in the seminary's weight room to capture images of pumped, sweaty seminarians. (He is now a minister in a liberal Christian denomination, and says he has no beef with gay people.)

"He grabbed my crot ch. Then he apologized, and we became f riends."

A similar story is told by Peter P. Fuchs, an ex-seminarian who was at St. John Vianney during the last two years of Lynch's tenure. "Steve O'Hala was def initely his boy. He was very buf f —[Lynch] used to take pictures of him in the weight room." Asked whether Lynch actually installed a camera there, Fuchs laughs. "No. I think that would have been a little overt." Robert Lynch departed St. John Vianney in the mid-80's. Twenty years later, as the bishop of the St. Petersburg diocese on Florida's west coast, he was accused of sexually harassing Bill Urbanski, the diocese's spokesman and the f ather of Lynch's godson. Funnily enough, one of Urbanski's more mild complaints was that Lynch liked to photograph him with his shirt of f . T he diocese settled out of court f or $100,000. Lynch's replacement at St. John Vianney was a priest named Bernard Kirlin, whom a f ormer pupil describes as an openly gay alcoholic. In 1983, Kirlin began an intense relationship with Peter P. Fuchs, then a young seminarian. "I probably entered [the seminary] partially because I was attracted to the idea of being in a gay environment," says Fuchs, an erudite gay man who now lives with his husband in Washington, D.C. "But I was also very interested in theology, in the big questions." Fuchs was in his third year at St. John Vianney when Kirlin arrived. He was "urbane" and "brilliant," Fuchs says. "Of course his attention f lattered me." Kirlin gravitated to Fuchs immediately, and invited him to dinner a f ew weeks into the academic year along with a f ew other seminarians. "I think he probably just invited the boys he thought were hot," says Fuchs. T he two men hit it of f , and af terward Kirlin invited Fuchs back to the f aculty building, where the pair sat and talked in the lounge. "He came on to me," Fuchs says. "Very, very sloppily. He grabbed my crotch. T hen he apologized, and we became f riends."

A Sick Cult ure
Kirlin and Fuchs were together "all the time" that year, relaxing, talking, and especially eating. "We ate out almost every night," says Fuchs. "Nice restaurants. Remember Charade, in Coral Gables? T hat was a really, really expensive restaurant." Eventually it occurred to Fuchs to ask where the money f or these excursions came f rom. "[Kirlin] told me, 'I work really hard, and they hardly pay me anything. So I take money out of the slush f und.'" Fuchs says he loved Bernie Kirlin f or his mind. He was "a prof ound mind, a deep mind, and incredibly f un and f unny." Bernie Kirlin seems to have loved Fuchs in a very dif f erent way, with the kind of keening, desperate, altogether embarrassing love that stunted sexual beings occasionally develop f or objects of unrequited romantic f eeling. During the pair's trip to Rome, Fuchs says Bernie Kirlin would drunkenly enter his room in the small hours of the morning, wake him, and prof ess his undying devotion. "It was obnoxious. We f ought a lot on that trip," says Fuchs. "I can't even remember what about. But the relationship was, at that time, becoming a little cloying." In an ef f ort to save it, Fuchs says he decided to sleep with Kirlin, just once. "I can't believe I was so stupid," he says. "I guess I thought, you know, if I give him what he wants this one time, maybe he'll be satisf ied. What did I know? I was nineteen." It didn't work. Fuchs says that in the weeks af ter their one night stand, Kirlin's ardor intensif ied. Af ter graduating f rom St. John Vianney, Fuchs was slated to continue his studies at St. Vincent de Paul in Boynton Beach, Fla. But this was too close to Miami, says Fuchs; an Archdiocesan of f icial who had grown alarmed by Kirlin's unhealthy f ixation on Fuchs intervened. Fuchs was sent instead to Washington, D.C., where he met his f uture husband the f ollowing year. "And I got out," he says. "I'm immensely glad. It's a sick culture. T he worst of religion and

the worst of malf ormed human sexuality, jammed together in one place. T he people who make it through to the priesthood have had to sublimate so much of themselves, have ignored so much. And then they're supposed to minister to people? Please." Kirlin continued ministering to people, even af ter he was f ired f rom the seminary. "I'll never f orget it," says a f ormer pupil. "T hey f ound [Kirlin] wasted in the bed of a seminarian. T hey dragged him out by his f eet and his hands—dragged him all the way to the priest's quarters. He was removed over that Christmas break." Kirlin went to rehab. Af ter stints in the Florida Keys and a Haitian neighborhood in Miami, Favalora rewarded him a beautif ul parish in Coral Gables; a lush, moneyed municipality two miles south of downtown Miami.

Fat her Morales' Live-in Boyf riend
Christif idelis f ormed in 2005 af ter the sacking of Father Andrew Dowgiert f rom All Saints Church, in Sunrise, FL, where Dowgiert served as an associate pastor. Of f icially, he was sacked because of his bad attitude and f ondness f or alcohol. Not so, says Christif idelis. Dowgiert was a Polish priest who spent much of the 90's ministering in Z imbabwe, where he contracted malaria. He was assigned to the Archdiocese of Miami in 1999, and became an associate pastor at St. Justin Martyr, in Key Largo, under Father Edward Olszewski. Shortly af ter Dowgiert's arrival, Olszewski was charged with having raped a boy decades earlier in Michigan. (Olszewski was convicted, and sentenced to f our years' probation. T he conviction was later reversed.) With Olszewski indisposed, Dowgiert took leadership of St. Justin Martyr f or three years until a permanent pastor was installed. Dowgiert then moved to Good Shepherd parish in Miami, where he served as associate pastor under Father Michael Greer. Later, in a lawsuit Dowgiert f iled against the Archdiocese, he alleged that Greer tried to seduce him. Dowgiert served at Good Shepherd f or a year. When Favalora announced that Dowgiert was to move again, Good Shepherd's parishioners petitioned the Archdiocese to reconsider. According to the lawsuit, "the parishioners complained to Monsignor Michael Souckar … that Father Greer was not available to them and that Father [Dowgiert] was a stable priest." T he transf er proceeded anyway, and Dowgiert was assigned to serve under Father Anibal Morales at All Saints' Church. Perhaps you can imagine Dowgiert's state of mind as he undertook his new assignment. He had, in the last decade, witnessed soul-crushing poverty in Z imbabwean villages, contended with a lif e-threatening illness, and been repeatedly f orced to consider the implications of the Mother Church's inability to pair him with a celibate priest, or even a non-celibate priest who got his rocks of f in ways that didn't involve coercive sodomy. And there he was, walking into Morales's All Saints rectory, and already he'd heard the rumors. "Morales has a light touch with the parish f unds," and "Morales has a boyf riend."

Father Anibal Morales ( Right, photo via Archdiocese of Miami ) Morales may or may not have had a light touch with parish f unds—if he did, he's hardly unusual—but he was almost certainly a homosexual. Morales f irst attended seminary in Puerto Rico, where, incidentally, he is alleged to have been the pupil of the af orementioned Bishop Miguel "Lili" Rodriguez Rodriguez. Despite his august patronage, he was allegedly expelled f or "sexual misconduct" with f ellow students. He re-enrolled at St. John Vianney Seminary College in Miami, and was ejected f rom there, too. According to Dowgiert's lawsuit, Favalora interceded on Morales's behalf , and placed him under the tutelage of Father Gary Wiseman. (Allegedly, Wiseman himself was subsequently exiled to Mandeville, Jamaica, af ter accusations of sexual misconduct.) Morales received holy orders shortly thereaf ter. Between his ordination and star-crossed meeting with Dowgiert, Morales scooted f rom church to church, pissing of f parishioners wherever he went. According to Dowgiert's lawsuit, Morales's tenure at St. Francis de Sales was marked by rumors of missing parish f unds. At St. John, Morales earned his parishioners' wrath by parading his boyf riend in f ront of a youth group. (T his resulted in a f ormal letter of complaint to the Archdiocese.) By the time Dowgiert arrived at All Saints, Morales's reputation was tanking there, too.

Eject ion f rom t he Rect ory
Upon Dowgiert's arrival, Morales departed f or a six-week vacation with his alleged live-in boyf riend, Carlos Insignares, leaving the parish in Dowgiert's care. Dowgiert was soon approached by a deacon who expressed concern about Morales's handling of church money. As Dowgiert was responsible f or signing church checks during Morales's absence, he began caref ully questioning Morales's secretary about the checks' purposes. According to the lawsuit, the secretary was greatly discomf ited, and interrupted Morales's vacation to tell him about Dowgiert's snooping. And so Dowgiert and Morales's relationship was strained bef ore it had rightly begun. SExpandAmong the records assembled in "Miami Vice" is this mortgage document showing that Father Anibal Morales coowns a condo with his alleged boyf riend, Carlos Insignares. Not long af ter, Dowgiert claims he received a visit f rom Monsignor William Hennessey, Archbishop Favalora's hatchet man, who asked that Dowgiert cease spending his of f -days in the church rectory. T his was an unusual request, as Dowgiert lived in the rectory. Dowgiert protested; he had nowhere else to go. Hennessey told him to get a hotel room. According to the lawsuit, "[Dowgiert] understood this to mean that Morales wanted to be alone with his homosexual lover." Dowgiert's relationship with Morales suf f ered af ter his ejection f rom the rectory, and allegedly ceased to exist af ter Morales's boyf riend came to the church to conduct a "training exercise" and insulted Dowgiert in f ront of other parish employees. In 2004, Morales sent a letter to Favalora accusing Dowgiert of alcoholism, cruelty, and crudity; his letter was substantiated by several accompanying notes f rom parish staf f , all of whom reported Dowgiert's strange words f rom his f irst week at All Saints as evidence of his bitter, un-Catholic outlook: "Don't remind me of my ordination." Hennessey summoned Dowgiert to discuss the charges, and inf ormed Dowgiert he was to be sent away f or treatment. According to the lawsuit, Dowgiert asked to speak to a lawyer, at which point Hennessey verbally terminated Dowgiert's employment.

Hennessey (inset) and Favalora. (Photos via Getty, Miami Archdiocese ) Andrew Dowgiert was, most claim, a good priest; a priest who had never been in trouble, who saved St. Justin Martyr when its pastor was nabbed f or boy-rape. A great many of All Saints most devout senior parishioners liked and admired him. T hey wondered: Why was the Archdiocese def ending a non-celibate homosexual with a history of unpriestly behavior, and casting aside a devout, heroic priest who'd single-handedly rescued one of its parishes? First they wondered privately. T hen they wondered aloud. When a lay minister at All Saints named Gloria Luca was f ired f or wondering too loudly, they sought answers. Christif idelis was born.

Miami Vice
Sharon Bourassa, Christif idelis' f ounder, is an attorney who works entirely pro-bono, providing lawyerly aid to the poor. She represented Dowgiert in his lawsuit. T he suit was unsuccessf ul (the judge decided the Catholic church has the right to be as skeazy as it wants), but yielded interesting things. SExpandOne of several pages of (NSFW) printouts f rom the gay hook-up site, which Morales' alleged boyf riend Carlos Insignares f requented, f ound in the garbage by Christif idelis investigators outside the home Insignares and Morales owned together. During a pre-trial investigation, f or example, it emerged that Anibal Morales and his alleged boyf riend, Carlos Insignares, bought a house together on SW 13th Street, in Miami, where they cohabitated on Morales's days of f ; that Morales had granted Insignares power of attorney; that Insignares made extensive use of a gay hookup site called Bear411; and that Insignares was (and presumably still is) uncircumsized. T he printout at right was discovered in the trash outside of Morales's and Insignares' home. T his photodocumentary evidence, along with f ilings f rom Dowgiert's lawsuit, make up a large portion of the document called "Miami Vice," the introduction to which reads, in part:

In accordance with the rights and duties guaranteed them by the Catholic tradition, the faithful of the Archdiocese of Miami wish to make known to their pastors at Rome the spiritual condition which

they find themselves in in the aforementioned Archdiocese. To the point, it has come to their attention that there exists among the clergy of the Archdiocese a 'gay' superculture which fosters active homosexual activity, the misspending and misdirecting of parish funds, and the persecution of those (clergy and laity) who question this type of activity...

What f ollows are hundreds of pages of documentation divided into nine chapters and f our appendices, consisting mostly of anonymous testimony accusing various diocesan priests of wanton promiscuity and f inancial misdeeds over the course of Favalora's reign. T hese testimonies were compiled with the help of concerned Floridian Catholics, priests and laity alike, with a great deal to lose if their involvement with Christif idelis became public. Which is why the accusations are generally accompanied by statements like this one: "T he primary source f or this inf ormation is the above-mentioned priest-brother, whose name and contact inf ormation will be made available upon request." T hat is, "upon request" f rom a Catholic of f icial of the appropriate rank. T he intended audience f or "Miami Vice" was never the press. It was the Vatican. "We're def ending the Church," says Eric Giunta, an ex-seminarian and contributor to "Miami Vice." "It's essential to remember—the last thing we wanted was to hurt her." Christif idelis was initially hopef ul. In 2006, Bourassa received a visit f rom a Vatican of f icial she cannot name. (She told Giunta the visitor was a Cardinal, but that's all.) T he visitor listened sympathetically, and promised to investigate. Bourassa heard no more. Giunta says he convinced Bourassa to unleash "Miami Vice" upon the press at the end of 2008, when, at the f ar extremity of pious desperation, he decided only a public scandal might spur the Church to action. Neither Giunta nor Bourassa had any way of knowing that even as they hounded reporters, Favalora was packing his bags. When Favalora announced his retirement, they realized their mistake. Af ter February, 2010, the world's journalists would hear no more f rom Christif idelis. T hey weren't about to make Wenski's lif e any harder by siccing some gutter-brained reporter on the Archdiocese at the most f ragile stage of its recovery. Which is why, of all the members of Christif idelis, only Eric Giunta is now willing to go on record, and only reluctantly. SExpand

T homas Wenski, Miami's current Archbishop. ( Photo via AP ) Why? "Because Wenski's not moving f ast enough," he says. "He's walking a f ine line." Giunta suggests that Wenski, though "a very good Bishop" who probably "wants to do the right thing," is hemmed in by political considerations. "If you walk into the Archdiocese and f ire everybody," he says, "there's going to be a scandal." Giunta is willing to talk, he says, because scandal might "allow [Wenski] more f reedom to act." T hough it's easy to imagine Giunta wants the Archdiocese to squirm f or more personal reasons, too.

"They're st ill t here."

T he bulk of Eric Giunta's contribution to "Miami Vice" takes the f orm of a letter addressed to "His Eminence Z enon Cardinal Grocholewski, Pref ect, Congregation f or Catholic Education and Seminaries" in Vatican City. When he wrote it, Giunta was a 22-year-old at a tragic impasse. He had embraced conservative Catholicism in his teens, and in 2004 f elt a calling to the priesthood. Giunta applied to Saint John Vianney at the beginning of 2005. In March, he began the standard battery of interviews to which prospective seminarians are subjected. Giunta should have aced the interviews. At the time, he attended mass up to three times a week. His bedtime reading consisted of T homas Aquinas, T homas More, the aging then-Cardinal Ratzinger, and Augustine. You'd think such enthusiasms would excite the headhunters of a religion f acing a demographic crisis, but no. One of his interviewers, Father Juan Sosa, spent his interview chatting to Giunta about Broadway musicals and the Oscar-night parties in his rectory. Another interviewer, Father T homas O'Dwyer, wanted to talk about sodomy. He asked Giunta if he would f eel comf ortable sharing a bedroom with a homosexual seminarian. Giunta allowed that he might not f eel comf ortable, but that he would cope. "[O'Dwyer] pressed this issue," says Giunta, "and I remember my exact words: 'In this as in all things, I submit to the prudential judgment of my superiors, insof ar as they act in accord with the law and teaching of the Church.'" Asked how he'd f eel sharing a rectory with a gay pastor, Giunta says he repeated that answer verbatim. "I told him the truth. I said: 'Father, I've known people who attended St. John Vienney, and I've heard rumors that until very recently there were certain behaviors there that might not be conducive to the living out of the evangelical counsels.' Father O'Dwyer said: 'T hey're still there.'" He told O'Dwyer that he wasn't worried. T he new Pope would soon initiate an "apostolic visitation" (that's when the Vatican sends out a heavy to make sure the global Church is behaving), and Giunta was conf ident any egregious lapses of orthodoxy would be addressed. "And then [O'Dwyer] chuckled," says Giunta, "and said something like, 'Don't get your hopes up.' And then he said: 'Eric my boy, if the Holy Father were to get rid of every gay priest, this Archdiocese could run—' and then he paused, and said, 'ten parishes.'" T here are 118 parishes in the Archdiocese of Miami. Eric Giunta never made it to to the rest of his interviews. In April, Giunta was rejected via email. A f ollow-up letter explained he'd been disqualif ied by a f aulty "understanding of priestly ministry and Church lif e in general." In his letter, Giunta wrote:

I do not know with absolute certainty that my rejection by the Miami Archdiocese was motivated by malice. Out of charity, I am giving all parties the benefit of the doubt. However, given what was revealed to me during the process about the prevalence of homosexuality in the Archdiocese of Miami …. along with the ambiguous reasons for my rejection, I thought I'd make my experience known to you and to those others in the hierarchy under whose jurisdiction these ecclesiastical institutions fall.

Not long af ter his rejection f rom St. John Vianney, a mutual acquaintance introduced Eric Giunta to Sharon Bourassa.

The Archdiocese, In Brief
When told about Giunta's interview with O'Dwyer, most of the sources consulted f or this story were skeptical, suspecting either hyperbole on O'Dwyer's part or total f abrication on Giunta's. "I have a hard time believing O'Dwyer would say something like that," says Peter Fuchs, who was at St. John Vianney with O'Dwyer. "T hese

things aren't discussed in the open. In a f ormal interview? For someone to say that? No way." But Fuchs and almost everyone else agrees that the inf ormation allegedly revealed by O'Dwyer is basically sound. "You certainly couldn't run the Archdiocese without gay clergy," says a f ormer diocesan priest. "Not the Archdiocese of Miami or any other one." How gay is the Archdiocese of Miami? And, in particular, how gay was it under Archbishop Favalora? "Miami Vice" goes into great detail on the subject. It would probably be wrong to name names without Sharon Bourassa's sources around to of f er corroboration, but even an overview shorn of identif ying inf ormation paints a vivid picture. As of 2005: A priest who's been previously mentioned in this story was known to plan regular "sleepovers" with seminarians at his rectory in southwest Miami, and owned a "luxury" property. A homosexual priest in Coral Gables owned "luxury" property and regularly used illicit drugs. A homosexual priest who served as principal at one of the Archdiocese's high schools poached sexual partners f rom among the seminarians at St. John Vianney. A homosexual priest in f ar, f ar south Miami kept attractive young men living in his rectory. A homosexual priest in the town of Miramar was co-habitating with his lover, who's also a parishioner. A homosexual priest in Miami had a lover who was also a priest in the Florida Keys. T hey co-owned a condominium at a Yacht Club. A member of the Archdiocesan Tribunal owned a condominium on ritzy Bayshore Drive, in Miami, with his male lover. An Archdiocesan of f icial sought out "young boys f rom third-world countries, f rom unprivileged backgrounds, and recruited them f or the Archdiocese's seminaries. T hese men [were] groomed to engage in sexual relationships with the older homosexual priests of the Archdiocese." Until 1998, this of f icial owned a home with a male lover in northern Miami. Two homosexual priests, each with his own Miami parish, co-habitated in Miami Shores. Two homosexual priests, each with his own parish, were lovers; one liked to go shopping "with the girls" on Lincoln Road f or f eminine cosmetics; the other used to date one of the Archdiocese's male IT personnel. A homosexual priest in Sunny Isles liked to jog nude on the gay-dominated, clothing-optional beach at nearby Haulover Park. A monsignor liked to f lash his willy at young men. A monsignor slept with his f emale (!) parishioners. A priest got busted attempting to buy sex f rom an undercover male cop. A homosexual priest pissed of f parishioners by using a banana to demonstrate proper condom usage to young children, contrary to the birth-control method prescribed by the Church (abstinence). More recently, an associate pastor had received f ull pastorship at a church in the Florida Keys af ter being caught en f lagrante delecto with his male lover—while the person who caught him, a Philippino priest, was booted f rom the Archdiocese. And these are just the priests about whom something unusual has been said. It excludes the many who were merely non-celibate homosexuals, or who have been accused only of embezzling money. And it excludes the 33 Miami priests (and one nun) accused of criminal sexual abuse. (Of course, there is some

overlap.) It's unlikely that all of these allegations are true, and of the ones that are, it's unlikely that all are symptomatic of corruption or moral depravity. But some must be. Perhaps the most dif f icult allegations to explain away are those which have attached themselves to two particular individuals, whose names were repeated again and again in interviews and in the pages of "Miami Vice": Monsignor William Hennessey and the erstwhile mentor of Peter P. Fuchs, Father Bernie Kirlin.

Monsignor Hennesey's Bondage Gear
"He's a sweet man, very kind," says a diocesan priest of Bill Hennessey, which is what just about everyone says of the man. Nicest guy in the diocese, and maybe the most corrupt. SExpandA passage f rom an interview transcript included in "Miami Vice" in which an Archdiocese worker claims that Monsignor William Hennessey kept a photo of a male security guard employed by the Archdiocese "dressed like he was a stripper club." Bill Hennessey spent much of the 70's and 80's as the principal of Monsignor Pace Senior High School, in Miami Gardens, where one of his employees was a young Bill O'Reilly—the shouty Fox News talking head was a history teacher there bef ore he got his start. Hennessey allegedly stole a great deal of money f rom Pace in a variety of canny ways—f or instance, by siphoning money f rom a trust f und set up f or a quadriplegic student. (T he student eventually brought charges against Hennessey, some of which stuck.) When Favalora arrived in the Archdiocese, "the f inances were a mess" at Pace High, according to the f ormer diocesan priest, and Hennessey was quietly removed f rom his position and replaced with his good f riend Dr. Richard Perhla. Hennessey was installed as Favalora's "Vicar General"—a kind of Archdiocesan enf orcer, who wields the Archbishop's power and acts in his stead. Meanwhile, Hennessey lived in a condominium in Quayside Towers, in Miami Beach, with a man who was almost certainly his lover. (T hey had mutual rights of survivorship.) He maintained a f riendship with Perhla—himself a gay man with a live-in-lover—and remained on the high school's board of directors. He was joined there by another f riend, a physician named Dr. Jerome Waters, who handled physical examinations f or Pace students trying out f or sports teams. Waters was gay too. In the mid-90's, one of his young lovers apparently shot one of his ex-lovers to death on his lawn. For years, two rumors about Bill Hennessey circulated endlessly through the Archdiocese. T he f irst was of his passion f or bondage gear. T he other involved his f unky f inancial relationship with the local high schools, and in particular with the brand-new Archbishop McCarthy High, of which his close f riend Dr. Richard Perhla was the f irst-ever principle. "T here was some kind of stink there, with Hennessey acting as a 'consultant,'" says a diocesan priest. "T hey'd talk on the phone, Hennessey and Perhla—and remember, these guys are great f riends—and then Hennessey would bill Perhla f or his time." Money f or nothing. When Archbishop Wenski assumed control of the Miami Archdiocese, he immediately initiated an audit of the local high schools. T he results of the audit have not been published, but they mustn't have been good: Just bef ore the beginning of the recent school year, Perhla was sacked f rom Archbishop McCarthy High, and was allegedly escorted f rom the premises by security. Monsignor Hennessey announced his

retirement a month later.

A Lat e-Night Shredding Part y
Like Bill Hennessey, Bernie Kirlin's career has been dogged by rumors of f inancial ill deeds. Af ter he was ejected f rom a seminarian's bed at St. John Vianney, Kirlin served as a pastor in the Keys, and then in a Miami ghetto. In 1999, Favalora appointed him to lead the congregation at St. Augustine, in Coral Gables, where he replaced Father Terrence Hogan, himself a f ormer employee of St. John Vianney and alleged non-celibate homosexual. Hogan was much beloved of his congregation, not least of all because of his rigid f iscal discipline. Every month in the parish bulletin, Hogan published a list of the church's expenses and a summary of its balance sheet. When he departed St. Augustine, the parish was more than $2 million in the black. Good thing, too: the physical church had f allen into considerable disrepair. "We did very little to help the church building," says Maria Diaz, a f ormer member of St. Augustine's Pastoral Council. "We never believed in spending money on brick and mortar. We wanted to help people." Kirlin's f irst act upon assuming leadership of the parish was to cease publicizing the church's f inances. When Kirlin lef t eleven years later, his replacement was shocked to discover St. Augustine was $1 million in the red. No one knows f or sure how St. Augustine came to this sad impasse, but speculation must take into account a number of awkward f acts, including Kirlin's purchase, in 2002, of a condominium on Brickell Avenue, a glittering stretch of road a f ew hundred yards f rom Biscayne Bay. T he condo cost $307,000. (In 2002, the average American diocesan priest made $30,000 per year.) T hree years later, an employee of Kirlin's accused him of embezzling church moneys, thereby initiating an internal audit—which was supervised, in part, by Kirlin's long-time f riend and alleged boyf riend Monsignor Michael Souckar, whom Kirlin had f irst met on that long-ago night when he treated Souckar, Peter P. Fuchs, and another "hot" St. John Vianney student to dinner. During the audit, Kirlin allegedly threw a late-night paper shredding party in the rectory. T hen he f ired his accuser, who in turn sued the Archdiocese f or violating whistle-blower protection laws. T he Archdiocese settled out of court, and the plaintif f was compelled to sign a non-disparagement agreement. She would not comment f or this story.

Wenski's Clean-up
Favalora resigned eight months bef ore attaining the age of 75—the age at which Archbishops customarily tender their resignations. A f riend of his replacement says she knows why. "For ages [the Vatican] had been begging [Bishop T homas] Wenski to come and clean up Favalora's mess, but Wenski wouldn't work with the man. He said 'Favalora's got to go bef ore I come down there.'" So Favalora went. T he September af ter Favalora's ouster (if it was indeed an ouster), the Miami Herald ran a brief item detailing some of the changes instituted in the Archdiocese during the f irst f ew months of Wenski's reign. Mostly, it was a matter of priest-shuf f ling; moving clerics f rom one parish to another. T he priests named in "Miami Vice" were disproportionately well-represented in the Herald's account of the shuf f le. Of the 35 priests accused by name in the binder, seven had retired already. Of those

remaining, most have been reassigned. Wenski shuf f led personnel at all levels of the diocese. Souckar was sent to Rome to pursue "advanced studies." Morales, the All Saints pastor who clashed with Dowgiert, was demoted to "parochial vicar." So was another priest accused of keeping a boyf riend in the rectory. According to canon law, such demotions are very grave. According to custom, they are very rare. Dowgiert has disappeared. A background check suggests he may have spent some time in Washington state bef ore dropping of f the map. Maybe he's in Poland. Big questions remain in the Archdiocese. Arguably the worst pedophile priest ever arrested in the United States, Neil Doherty, is a St. John Vianney alum who spent most of his career in Florida. He served as the seminary's vocational director under Robert Lynch. For thirty years, Doherty raped child af ter child, drugging them with alcohol and Qualudes and sodomizing them until they bled. He was one of Kirlin's closest f riends, and enjoyed sleepovers in his condo. How much did Kirlin know? Souckar? Favalora? T he Church isn't talking, but it may be acting. Apart f rom priest-shuf f ling, there is a rumor circulating among South Floridian clerics that Archbishop Wenski has hired private investigators to monitor Miami's priests. Christif idelis lays low, hoping it's true; that the Archdiocese's long orgy of sodomy and illicit cash is f inished. If not, we'll be hearing f rom them again. Additional reporting by Penn Bullock

See Also:
T he Catholic Church's Secret Gay Cabal - T he Documents

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